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UPDATE: Smuggler's Cove update likely in 2 months - Hon Fahie

Many questions, pleas and suggestions were posed by residents at a community meeting in Carrot Bay on May 23, 2013 in relation to the presentation of a draft proposal for the development of Smuggler's Cove. It is expected that a revised plan would be submitted to residents of the First District in two months time. Photo: VINO/File
Residents of the First District were not too comfortable with the proposed development plans for Smuggler's Cove as presented to them at a community meeting at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre in Carrot Bay last evening, May 23, 2013. Photo: VINO
Residents of the First District were not too comfortable with the proposed development plans for Smuggler's Cove as presented to them at a community meeting at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre in Carrot Bay last evening, May 23, 2013. Photo: VINO
Left to right: Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Ronald F. Berkley and Director of the National Parks Trust (NPT) Mr Joseph Smith-Abbott at the meeting in Carrot Bay on May 23, 2013. Photo: VINO
Left to right: Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Ronald F. Berkley and Director of the National Parks Trust (NPT) Mr Joseph Smith-Abbott at the meeting in Carrot Bay on May 23, 2013. Photo: VINO
CARROT BAY, Tortola, VI- Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said it is anticipated that his constituents should be having another feedback on plans for the Smuggler's Cove development project within two months.

Speaking to Virgin Islands News Online today May 27, 2013, Hon. Fahie said the committee, which was selected on the night of May 23 , 2013, will be meeting soon to make recommendations, review the proposed plan done by the Government and put alternatives to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr the  Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering.

The committee was selected after residents rejected the proposed plan presented to them at a community meeting at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre.

Hon. Fahie said once the review is done it shouldn't take more than one month to do the necessary revision, take the people's suggestion into consideration and come up with a new plan.

"My concern is that the people's voice is heard and adhered to and that Smuggler's Cove remains as much as possible in its natural state," Hon. Fahie told Virgin Islands News Online.

See previous article posted on May 24, 2013

UPDATE: Govt sent back to drawing table with Smuggler's Cove plan

- committee selected to continue dialog & consultation

Government has been sent back to the drawing table after presenting its proposed drawings for the development of Smuggler's Cove in Tortola.

A community meeting was held last evening, May 23, 2013 at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre and facilitated jointly by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr the honourable Kedrick D. Pickering and Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie. This was in keeping with a commitment to the residents of the District and the two parties to bring the plan for the development of Smuggler's Cove before the people before starting any works on the project.

The Government spent several months with Cooper's Computerized Architectural Drafting Services (CADS), which is under the management of Carrot Bay resident Mr Charles L. Cooper Jr., coming up with the design intended to alleviate and grapple with a number of critical issues and situations of the Smuggler's Cove beach area.

According to Dr Pickering and Hon Fahie, the development must take place but it was agreed that its design must be one that residents are comfortable with. When the presentation was put forward last evening, persons flooded the panel with a flurry of questions. Most of the questions gave the impression that the plan needed much more work and consideration of a number of factors.

"They spoke their mind and they were able to give their ideas and their views about the proposed development," Hon Fahie said following the meeting. He reiterated that the Minister was true to his word to ensure that the people would be informed and their views would be taken into consideration.

"I thought it was a progressive meeting. It's a very delicate topic for one that has to be tackled, but tackled in the best interest of not only the present generation but our future generations," added Hon. Fahie.

The First District Representative said he was confident that the directions in which they are currently going, regarding the development of Smuggler's Cove, is the right one. He acknowledged that residents are not 100% comfortable with the present plan but that they have agreed to come up with something that would be a 'middle ground' because there were a lot of concerns.

"You can't please all but at least with the different views it could be takening into consideration and the best possible solution will come out of this meeting so that we could move forward." he said.

One of the main concerns voiced in a very candid environment was that of preserving the beach to allow it to remain in its natural state, which prompted the response from Hon. Pickeringthat the project would not affect the beach itself.

The question about the cost of the project matching the proposed designed was one that could not be answered based on the condition that several other processes would be necessary before arriving at a cost, according to both Dr Pickering and Hon Fahie.

To take the review process forward, a committee was select last night to meet and have further round table discussions before coming up with a plan that is likely to be more acceptable by residents and those concerned. The committee is headed by Hon Fahie.

See previous article posted on May 23, 2013

First District residents uncomfortable with proposed Smuggler's Cove plan

With a full house participation of residents at the Abraham Leonard Community Centre in the First District, many questions, pleas and suggestions are being posed in relation to the presentation of a draft proposal for the development of Smuggler's Cove.

It is not an environment of a very happy people given the concerns being raised by residents at the meeting called by First District Representative Hon. Andrew A. Fahie this evening, May 23, 2013. Among the main concerns raised are the alleged destruction of the beach area from its natural state, the absence of a feasibility study for the area prior to the drafting of the development plan and economic activities on the beach.

Some of the comments that pulled loud rounds of applause and other supportive reactions include, "Give us a chance to doing this without doing that."

"I don't understand how you can do a plan of this magnitude and not do a feasibility study, I really cannot understand that."

"This, if I am correct is the only beach on the whole of Tortola that is in its natural state and we want to see it remain that way,” were just some of the expressions of residents of the First District.

The view was also expressed that a previous plan that was drafted is much better than the one being proposed by Government.

Persons lashed out at the National Parks Trust, claiming that it has a good reputation of building but not maintaining.

Several persons posed the question about the cost, however, Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering said it was impossible to determine a cost as it would be necessary to go through a number of procedures.

One child stood up and appealed that the area be maintained in its natural state as tourists find much pleasure in nature as opposed to buildings.

It has been announced that a group would be selected to discuss the furtherance of the proposal.

More details to follow.

43 Responses to “UPDATE: Smuggler's Cove update likely in 2 months - Hon Fahie”

  • Newtown Man (23/05/2013, 22:20) Like (13) Dislike (16) Reply
    The government is hell bent on destroying the natural habitat that we have in the first district. All they want to do is spent, spend,spend! The only thing wrong with Smuggler's Cove is all those vendors need to evacuate the premises. I remember when Smuggler's was a secluded beach; just look at it now. The people have spoken. Smuggler's Cove is beautiful in its natural state.
    • action (24/05/2013, 01:06) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
      you mean to say NDP opened up this Pandora's box without first verifying the authenticity of this stuff and if the people wanted it or not?....
      • Princess (24/05/2013, 14:41) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        This Pandora's Box was the brain child of the Rep for the First District, not NDP. They are presenting what he wants....
        • Interesting! (24/05/2013, 15:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
          If it is the 1st district rep brain child then he need to wheel and come again! Imagine no estimated cost on the project!
        • . (25/05/2013, 07:41) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
          Princess, how short do you think people memory is? The NDP was trying to get this done the last time they were in office!
          • Princess (25/05/2013, 21:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            Yes they were because it was brought to the table by the Rep for the 1st. It's his brain child, not NDP.
    • Done Deal (24/05/2013, 12:09) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      You see them destroying any natural habitat? Some of you all too disgusting. I would not have changed anything. You all cried out for development, now you getting it and still making noise. Strupppsss man..
      • Newtown Man (24/05/2013, 19:56) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        What improvements are they making? They need to let Smuggler's Cove be. Done Deal!
      • . (25/05/2013, 07:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        And this guy is the first runner up for the most willfully ignorant man in the whole BVI, possibly the whole Caribbean. Listen good, ignoramus: We did not "all cry out for development," and for those who did cry out for development this is obviously not the development wanted. So "Done Deal" whoever you are, it is not done yet, nor will it be. Back to the drawing board.
    • . (25/05/2013, 07:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply

      "...preserving the beach to allow it to remain in its natural state, which prompted the response from Hon. Pickering that the project would not affect the beach itself."

      Pickering is without a doubt the most willfully igno***t man in the BVI. Possibly the whole Caribbean. Such a combination of arrog**** and stupi***y is rarely seen in this day and age.

  • ... (23/05/2013, 22:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look thing ndp gone fast
    • AC 360 (24/05/2013, 01:01) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Pickering & Copper\ called for a game, but when the deck was stacked, the big joker run
    • END (24/05/2013, 01:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Lots of doubt now in the minds of the populace over this project
      • vex (24/05/2013, 11:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        They will continue to repeat the same strategy as they have nothing to contribute to the development of BVI. How sad
  • . (23/05/2013, 23:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wheel and come again!
  • ?? (23/05/2013, 23:12) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    Where am i going to take my sidething?
  • :) (23/05/2013, 23:16) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some architect is laughing all the way to the bank.
    • frog (24/05/2013, 00:23) Like (11) Dislike (2) Reply
      believe it or not, there were no trained architects in TCPD. Maybe there still isn't. just well-intentioned people who like to draw. they don't know about basic principles of good design, understanding and working with other buildings and context. that is why there are so many ugly buildings on an island FULL of architects all trying to build monuments to themselves.
    • bay yute (24/05/2013, 01:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      So many questions!
  • Gecko (23/05/2013, 23:42) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am still waiting for the plans to be published so everyone who couldn't make it can see. I will go to TCPD to see for myself (that is, if they let me look). There is no need for anything fancy. No great money is needed to rebuild the snack bar for drink, food and restrooms. People want Smugglers to be left alone. why does nature have to be "improved"?? That is sheer arrogance on part of government. leave it alone.
  • pete (24/05/2013, 00:36) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    for those interested in a feasibility study or any social impact studies, go look at the EIA and other assessments written for the development Villa Paradiso which was soundly defeated Nov 2006. It talks of altered flora and fauna being displaced or disappearing (seagrapes and mangroves), "loss of unique physical features and loss of open space" "intrusion into sensitive visual landscapes or landscape quality", "risk of erosion", "modification of coastal processes and coastal stability", "changes in terrestrial species, populations and habitats of flora and fauna"... etc.

    what makes government think that some of these issues don't apply to their plan? For a government wanting to be "green", here is a chance for them to chose the right thing and protect Smugglers as is. This is the calling card of BVI not a crafts alive, entertainment/ recreation centre. no more building. there is a building there to remodel.
  • ... (24/05/2013, 00:45) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    everything the NDP touch is dead on arrival
  • black boy (24/05/2013, 01:26) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
    • Not really (24/05/2013, 10:15) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      The people are concerned about the beach, environment and the area maintaining its natural state. The Gov't skirted the issue of cost of the project and the total number of vendors. Personally, they should leave the damn beach alone with no new development and work with the existing structures already there on the beach. Won't exactly consider being a hero to inflate the ego.
      • . (25/05/2013, 07:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Don't be so backward. How in heck is NDP's friends and supporters gonna score a big contract and line their pockets with cash by remodelling a perfectly good existing structure and maintaining the beach in it's natural state? Stuuups man, nothing can please you all. Forward ever, backward never! Done Deal! Bam!
        • Not really (27/05/2013, 16:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          It can't be my post you responding to? Where do you see me state that anybody lining their pockets? Besides, we are "Forever going backwards'.
  • Historian (24/05/2013, 07:55) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    This needs to be looked at very carefully. Apart from the Belmont Estate sugarworks which is still very much intact and the Amerindian ceremonial site which has been excavated on a number of occasions, there is also a very large unmarked cemetery where the victims of the 1853 cholera epidemic were buried in the Belmont area. There are possibly dozens of internments at this site and to disturb it would be terrible, especially since this was only 4 or five generations ago.
  • Politics (24/05/2013, 09:32) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    Fahie and Pickering two peas in a pod. That's all I will say for now
  • Excellent (24/05/2013, 09:34) Like (6) Dislike (22) Reply
    I must commend Fahie for hosting this meeting. It was worth the time. Now I hope that the government respects the views of the people & revise the plans that the NDP had.
  • out (24/05/2013, 10:10) Like (2) Dislike (18) Reply
    The NDP big political strategy is to try to embarrass their government out of office
    • un (24/05/2013, 11:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      ....have they come up with a development strategy that is real? why so much ppl fro outside on the committee
  • shaw (24/05/2013, 10:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    why does anything have to be done other than resurrecting the existing building for drinks and food and restroom? People have been finding their way to Smugglers for decades without anything remotely fancy.

    Smugglers is intimate and small. It was listed in a travel magazine as a "hidden gem", adding to the mystique and adventure of visiting the BVI. Why would anyone want to put down their towel in front of a mini-shopping mall and activity which disturbs the quiet. Less is more. More is less. leave it alone. leave it silent. leave it relaxing and special. Save one beach on either end, Long Bay Beef Island and Smugglers Cove.
  • ausar (24/05/2013, 11:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree "Historian" because I know here in the US Virgin Islands areas where there cholera gravesites , those areas are to remain undeveloped for perpetuity. As a matter of fact roads are closed and residents are denied access to those areas.

    No one dares to go to those areas for fear of catching "something"!

    It would be amazing to see if our government would allow cholera remains to be exposed to humans and the environment.

    That is one beach I will never go to!
  • where (24/05/2013, 12:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where are the sugar works in Belmont and this grave site? Never seen evidence org either.
  • Gecko (24/05/2013, 13:24) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    "Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has!"-- Margaret Mead

    "You can sheer a sheep many times but you can only slaughter him once"- wise blogger

    "nothing about us without us is for us"-- south African saying
  • WiseUP (24/05/2013, 14:52) Like (8) Dislike (4) Reply
    Most of you are a bunch of selfish thinkers..What about our country? We need money in our country to sustain us and this is one way of getting money into our country..Have you all not heard the news? Our government is down on flora, meaning broke and our economy is not going to get any better with selfish thinkers like some of you. Who is against the Cruize Ship Expansion, against the Airport Expansion..heck against every and anything that will bring money into our country. So you all really think that our government can build and repair all these schools we need, build hospitals and others, pay salaries without investments? You all think financial services will be here forever? According to Aretha Franklyn.."You better think"
    • . (25/05/2013, 07:58) Like (0) Dislike (8) Reply
      WTH are you talking about? What investment? How is this "getting money into our country?" The only investment going on with this plan is investment in the contractor's and consultant's pockets. Many tourists are already choosing to skip Smuggler's Cove because of the presence of vendors spoiling the natural beauty. How quick will they shun Smugglers when it gets destroyed by this plan? And is that consultant and contractor going to support the local economy with their big prize? Yeah, maybe support the NDP. Maybe. Remember there is no honour among thieves.

      Ignorant shortsighted self, you should talk about selfish.

      The trouble with a lot of my fellow BVIslanders is they have had easy money from tourism for so long that they have no understanding of what attracted those tourists in the first place and how easy it would be to lose them.
  • in hiding (24/05/2013, 23:33) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    me heard that some people move back to smuglers cove and not one from the first district where the hell is Fahie on that????
    • AC 360 (25/05/2013, 08:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      All we do in this country is talk, talk and more talk, we need to start acting....
  • wise up (25/05/2013, 18:54) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    I keep telling the people of this territory that the NDP administration is very deceptive; how can the current government come to us the people for our input to projects especially when they are coming with completed drawings ; i feel they should come sit with the people then based on what was agreed upon then create drawing for such project....they went to gun creek with the same concept-why waste the tax payers money on these drawings then have to alter them; let us give our valuable input before making these drawings... it is aslo sad to see the people of BVI still fighting in 2013 because the current administration has forgoten the 1960's
  • boat (25/05/2013, 19:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lots of rumours about this project and who will benift

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